Musings on an ideology of old

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

THE day after Christmas used to have more meaning to me in my early 20s. For many of us, the birth of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Dec. 26, 1968 had more value than the birth of Christ more than 2,000 years ago. December 26 occasioned, therefore, gatherings big and small and so-called revolutionary shows throughout the country.

I recall this because yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the reestablishment of the country’s communist party under the ideological guide of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (formerly Mao Zedong Thought). The old party was the Marxist-Leninist Partdo Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP), which was established on Nov. 7, 1930 but was later eclipsed by the CPP.

It has been 25 years since my association with the CPP was forcibly cut off, but my memory of my participation in the struggle has only dimmed slightly. Thus, for old times’ sake, I surfed the Net for the traditional message of the CPP’s central committee.

What amused me when I read it was that after more than four decades, the template of CPP statements hasn’t changed. In content, and style, they have remained Amado
Guerrero-ish. Amado Guerrero was the pseudonym of the CPP’s founding chairman.

Marxism-Leninism-Maoism was formulated by revolutionaries in China, which was at that time a semi-feudal semi-colonial state, and guided them in their seizure of state power in 1949. Surely, after almost a century (yes, that’s almost 100 years), much has changed in the world. Yet CPP statements make you feel like you are in an old time capsule.

When the CPP talked about “global crisis,” I was more interested in its treatment of China, which has staked claims to territories in the South China Sea, including islands owned by the Philippines. Consistent with its anti-US stance, it merely labeled China a “major capitalist” state, and not yet imperialist.

But for many Filipinos, China has become more of a threat to the Philippines than the United States, its acts becoming more imperialist-like the past few years.

Another old hat is the CPP’s insistence on bringing the people’s war to the strategic stalemate stage. That has been repeated every year since the glory years of the revolutionary left in the late seventies and mid-eighties when it has so grown in armed might it had visions of winning the war. But much has changed in the party organizationally. It isn’t as strong and influential as before.

That reflected the changing landscape in the country. During Mao’s China, or in the early years of the CPP, revolution was the sole option considering the prevailing situation. In the Philippines, the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos fired up the people. But more than that was that the people were boxed inside the archipelago.

Globalization has effectively changed the look of the country. Toppling the government is no longer the sole option to improve one’s economic standing. Working abroad is even the preferred option, as shown by the millions of Filipinos who have left our shores. If we’re still semi-colonial and semi-feudal, then we are a vastly different semi-colonial and semi-feudal state.

Worse is the CPP’s analysis of the political nature of the administration of President Noynoy Aquino. It rehashed unsubstantiated claims about cheating in automated elections and other PNoy “sins,” which is unfortunate for a party that claims to be Marxist, a world view that embraces an objective and scientific methodology.

What is most amusing is the call for the “ouster of the Aquino regime” or to “compel Aquino’s resignation.” I am amused because a recent Social Weather Station (SWS) survey shows that despite the attacks against PNoy, 69 percent of Filipinos are still satisfied with his performance in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Is this how my beloved Marxist party now views the world?


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 27, 2013.


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